Blog :: 07-2019

What To Do In August To Sell Next Spring

What To Do In August To Sell Next Spring

 

Photo by Ted Dawson

Well, if you’re reading this you’re either super interested in Montpelier and Barre real estate (which is great!) or you’re thinking that you’ve got just one more winter in your home.

 

It could be that next year is the year your last little bird leaves the nest. It could be that you’ve decided that this coming winter will be your last that you get to deal with snow. It could be you’re just ready to make a change, and you know what, no one needs to know your reasons, so there.

 

But if you have time and you’re planning, here are some things that you can do in the next few months to get your house ready to rock and roll come next spring.

 

Inside

-You knew it was coming...clean and declutter! You’re going to have to box all of it anyway, so go ahead and start getting rid of some of it. Yard sale, thrift store, Front Porch Forum, free pile, or storage unit. Just get rid of it.

 

-Paint. Paint is one of those things that most homeowners can do on their own. However, if you don’t have the time or desire to paint, you’ve got time to line up a painter to get it done. A word to the wise: Don’t wait until January to get painting done in February. Get in the calendar as soon as you can! Good painters get scheduled out quickly and they book far out into the calendar.

 

-Talk with a Realtor at Green Light Real Estate and find out what you house is worth, and more importantly get a detailed list of projects that will help you sell it as fast as possible and for the best price. The personal professional advice is SO valuable, don’t pass it up. 

 

Outside

-Landscaping and yard cleanup go a long way. As with painting, there’s lead time. Start planning now, and if you use a professional landscaper, get that person to the property this year to start the plan. If you’re going to list in May or June, you definitely need to have the landscaping looking top notch. But even if you’re going to be an early mover (list for sale in February or March), you can still benefit from cleaning up the yard and doing some advance planning.

 

-Paint any peeling or cracked paint. Trust me, if you wait until June to try to find a painter, you’re going to waiting until September. And that can derail a sale. Get it done soon (your Green Light Real Estate selling advisor can tell you exactly what would need to be painted).

 

The most important thing you can do now to prepare to sell in a few months is to get professional advice. Once you know what buyers, appraisers, inspectors, and buyer agents are looking for, you’ll know how to present your house in the best way possible.  When you work with Green Light Real Estate, you’ll get that advice. Even if you don’t ever list the house for sale.

 

Are you in the market to buy or sell? Get in touch! Call us at (802) 225-6425

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    Help! I Still Want to Buy a House This Summer!

    Help! I Still Want to Buy a House This Summer!

    Photo by Ted Dawson

    First, it’s going to be ok.

     

    Second, it might not turn out exactly 100% the way you dreamed it up in your ideal timeline. But, it’s going to be ok.

     

    It does take 6-8 weeks to close on a home after the purchase and sale agreement has been signed. So, you have to add those weeks into your timeframe.

     

    Most of that time is for loan underwriting and inspection resolution. If you’re not using a lender, then that timeframe can speed up. But if the person you’re buying from is using a loan for their purchase, you may still be in that 6-8 week realm.

     

    Finding the right home can be tricky, which I’m sure you’re experienced. That, perhaps, is why you’re reading this post in the first place. Here are some strategies for getting into a house as quickly as you can.

     

    1. In a seller’s market, when homes seem to be selling fast, and there are multiple bids on properties, you first need to acknowledge it. Acknowledge that sellers might have more power in the transaction than buyers do. 
    2. You may have to be flexible on some features that you want. You don’t have to give up on everything, but keep an open mind. If you can get a house that is 80% of what you want, that might be the way to go. Keep an open mind. You can fix or change almost anything in a house.
    3. Speed wins. Be ready to make an offer after seeing the house for the first time. Your night to sleep on it was someone else’s last night that they slept on it. If you like it, move fast.
    4. Make an offer that the seller might actually accept. In a competitive market, buyers aren’t able to make low offers and engage in drawn out negotiations. The house is still being shown and marketed during negotiations, so even though it feels like you’ve moved fast and locked it up, you haven’t.  Also, a drawn out difficult negotiation may nudge a seller to actively seek other offers, using your offer as bait.
    5. Use a competent and qualified Realtor. Sellers and listing agents want to make sure that the sale will actually happen. The better written the offer is, and the more connected your buyer agent is to the local real estate market, the better. Bringing in your sister from Colchester to help buy a house in Montpelier or Barre might not help your cause as much as you want it to. Better to bring in a local, skilled, experienced Realtor. Green Light Real Estate focuses on Central Vermont, and we know the area and the players really well. Listing agents have told us that they really like working with us on the buyer side because we’re collegial, professional, and we work as a team.
    6. Start looking for a Plan B. Maybe you can extend your lease for a month or two? If you’re looking at a hard move out deadline, then you really should think about looking for a different rental. You don’t want to negotiate with your back against the wall. And you don’t want to be homeless.
    7. If you haven’t yet, you really should schedule a free buyer consultation with Green Light Real Estate. When you have a deep understanding of the inventory and the process, and your Realtor really knows what you’re looking for, then the creative juices start flowing. Working together with your buyer agent will really help you refine your search, and give you an advantage over other buyers.

     

    It’s going to be ok. Houses come on the market all of the time, in all months of the year. Sure, it might have been ideal to move the week of July 4 so you could have some extra days to pack, clean, and move. But that doesn’t always work. Be patient, be flexible, be open minded, be prepared, and then be ready to move fast. 

     

    Are you in the market to buy or sell? Get in touch! Call us at (802) 225-6425

     

     

     

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      Does rental income count towards our own income?

       

      Photo by Ted Dawson

      Your teachers always said that if you have a question, you should ask because. You’re probably not the only one with the same question. Well, I have a feeling that holds true even when we’re out of school. Here’s a real question asked by a real buyer:

       

      Question:

      If we’re buying a multi-family rental that we plan on living in, can we count the rental income toward our own income?

      Answer:

      Yup.

       

      Most lenders will count at least some of the rental income from a rental property toward a buyer’s income. One lender I spoke with in person recently told me that they can count 75% of the rent toward a buyer’s income. Even if you don’t have landlord experience. Even if your income comes from 1099 income.

       

      It’s best if there is a lease in place, so you can show the lender exactly what the tenant is supposed to be paying. But if there isn’t (yeah, I asked!), then a lender will have a market rent analysis completed as part of the appraisal.

       

      If you can show that the other half of a duplex is renting for $900, with a lease or rental analysis, then you can count $675 per month as income for you, for qualifying (that’s $8100 annually). But with no lease, an appraiser would have to confirm what market rent would be for a similar unit. Presumably that would be around $900.

       

      Why not 100%? Because we don’t live in a fantasy land, is basically why. That 25% cushion accounts for unexpected maintenance, capital expenditures, and vacancy (incidentally, when I run numbers for investors looking to buy multi-family in Montpelier and Barre, I use a 25%-30% cushion when calculating cash flow, the difference is whether I feel confident that the condition and layout will lower my vacancy to 0%-5%, or whether it’s more realistic to use 5%-10% for vacancy).

       

      Even a few hundred dollars each month can make a difference in the ability for someone to buy a rental property in Montpelier or Barre. An owner-occupant can get an FHA loan on a 1-4 unit, and get in with as little as 3.5% as a downpayment. But, as of this writing, the FHA only allows the ratio of housing payments to gross income to be up to 31%. 

       

      Which means that the extra $675 monthly that counts toward your income could increase your purchase power by $26,000. If you were approved for $150,000 for a single family home, you’d likely be approved for $176,000 for a duplex where you live in one unit and rent the other for $900 each month.

       

      Different banks handle things differently, so make sure to ask your lender what their policy is on handling rental income. Also, loan decisions can be property specific. A straight side by side duplex might be treated differently than a large Victorian with a small accessory unit on the third floor. You’ve just got to ask about them.  And if you don’t get the answers you want, call a different lender. Or call us at 802-225-6425 and let us connect you to a lender who can help you.

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